There’s a lot happening at Torch Theatre this autumn, it’s always my favourite theatre season. This year I’m especially excited about their in-house production of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’. As the Torch celebrates its 45th anniversary, Of Mice and Men will be the final drama directed by Artistic Director, Peter Doran who retires at the end of 2022 after 25 successful years at the Torch. Read on for more information:
Of Mice and Men is a literary classic, telling the moving story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression of 1930s America.
Despite its age, it is very much a play for today. Set almost 100 years ago, the universality of people’s desire to seek a better life is just as poignant today as it was then. Economic migration, exclusion, friendship, loneliness, racism, sexism, violence, and attitudes to disabilities are themes within the play and they all resonate just as strongly today as they did when the book was first published. This production will bring home the ageless difficulties faced by migrants, giving voice to the lonely and dispossessed in a tense and surprising drama.
Peter Doran on Of Mice and Men:
“This year’s Autumn show will mark my last production at the Torch – well, apart from the Panto in December. Given that, the choice of production was a real conundrum for me, and one that I thought long and hard about. In the end, I choose Of Mice and Men, an American classic by the great John Steinbeck, because it’s a story as relevant today as the day it was written. If you strive to produce quality theatre, your base line is a great story and to my mind, this story takes a lot of beating. I hope we can do it justice.”
The nine-strong professional cast features several familiar faces that have previously graced the stage at the Torch as well as introducing some of the finest up-and-coming actors from across Wales and beyond. Taking the lead role as George is Jâms Thomas whose film and TV credits include Mr Nice, Save The Cinema, Torchwood and Casualty, as well as taking on the role of Abanazar here at the Torch in 2019’s Aladdin. Alongside Jâms, playing the role of Lenny is Mark Henry-Davies who will be appearing at the Torch for the first time. Mark graduated last year from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and he recently appeared as Phillips in the first season of Itopia on S4C & BBC iPlayer.
Other cast members making a welcome return to the Torch are former Torch Youth Theatre member Sam Freeman (Whit), Dion Davies (Boss / Carson), Gwidion Rhys (Curly) and Dudley Rogers (Candy). Making their Torch Theatre Company debuts are Chris Bianchi (Slim), Shameer Sheepersand (Crooks) and Alexandria McCauley (Curly’s Wife). There will also be a very special guest appearance from Marloe, Peter Doran’s very own pet dog. I know my middle daughter, who is currently reading Of Mice and Men at school will be especially delighted by this cameo!
Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director at the Torch Theatre says:
“We’re delighted to bring this major work to the Torch. We have a thrilling cast of actors, both known to us and new, and I am confident Peter’s usual exciting approach to telling a terrific and compelling story, combined with a truly stunning set design, will certainly do it justice. As we celebrate the theatre’s 45th year in Milford Haven, we want to engage our community with this story for the ages and I encourage our audience to join us both to see the show and to celebrate the Torch and Peter’s achievements with us this Autumn.”
Of Mice and Men will Run from Wed 5 October – Sat 22 October
Of Mice and Men will be shown at several morning and matinee performances for school students following which Peter Doran and members of the cast will talk to the audience about the play, its themes and the experience of live performance. There will be 16 performances of the play, running from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 22 October at various times, including a BSL interpreted performance on Tuesday 11 October with interpreter Liz May.
Tickets for Of Mice and Men
Tickets cost £20.50, £18.50 Concessions, £14.50 Matinee and £9.00 for U26’s.
Book tickets from the Torch Theatre’s Box Office on 01646 695267 or by visiting torchtheatre.co.uk.
For School or Group Bookings, please contact the Torch Theatre Box Office on 01646 695267 or email email@example.com